High School Students Will Honor Donna Summer With Hallway Mural

This painting has soul.
Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

The late disco-era singer Donna Summer might not be getting a life-sized statue in her honor anytime soon, but her legacy will be preserved in the form of a giant mural plastered on the walls of a Boston high school.

On Friday, June 13, students from the Jeremiah E. Burke High School, where Summer, a Dorchester native, once took classes, will celebrate the singer with a concert, dance performance, and unveiling of the mural, which will serve as a “constant reminder to the students” who pass through the school’s hallways that following their passions can lead to success.

The Dream Builders Youth Program, launched in May to help students in Dorchester prepare for life’s challenges while also going after their aspirations, sponsored the creation of the mural.

The group turned to IndieGoGo.com to raise funds for the project. In total, the organization brought in more than $5,500 from community supporters that wanted to see the painting go up at the high school in honor of Summer. “Our goal with sponsoring the mural was not to just honor Donna Summer, but to inspire students at the Burke on leaving a legacy of their own. Our program provides a road map to follow their passion while attaching a purpose to it. That’s success,” said Justin Springer, cofounder of the Dream Builders Youth Program.

The mural, which features Summer holding her hand in the air as she’s singing into the microphone mid-performance, with a hailo-like presence painted behind her head, was created by an artist by the name of Deme. Summer died in May of 2012 after battling lung cancer.

According to event organizers, the tribute and unveiling of the portrait will be supplemented by a dance routine, some musical performances, and an appearance by City Councilor Tito Jackson. The event is open to the public, and proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to the school.


Steve Annear Steve Annear, Digital Writer at Boston Magazine sannear@bostonmagazine.com


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